Let the debate in New England begin. The Patriots lost a game that came down to one play. Yes there were plenty of other issues that the Pats had to deal with all afternoon. The Patriots played against the best defensive team in football and the Patriots front line’s inability to protect Brady completely changed the offensive direction of the game.
Brady was smothered all afternoon because of the inability of the front line to protect him. Brady had pressure in his face on almost every pass, making it hard for him to effectively utilize Edelman and Gronkowski . The Broncos’ front seven did what no other team has been able to do this year, shut down the Patriots with all their star playmakers playing in the game.
There was also the fact that the Patriots have no running game, Belichick's decisions to pass up short field-goal attempts twice in the fourth quarter while trailing by eight. We’ll probably debate the field goal decision for days. But the reality is a couple of very big weaknesses in the offense were exposed yesterday, the front lines inability to protect the quarterback and a non-existent running game are the major reasons that prevented Brady and team from another trip to the Super Bowl.
Welcome to the Off Season.